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A new buzzword you may have come across is IoT which stands for Internet of Things. IoT was first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton during a presentation to Proctor & Gamble to describe how computers and the Internet were largely dependent on humans manually typing and adding information. He referred to the benefits of having computers that could gather information on their own:

Today computers — and, therefore, the Internet — are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.

The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy — all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things — using data they gathered without any help from us — we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.

IoT Agenda described the history of the Internet of Things as follows:

Although the concept wasn’t named until 1999, the Internet of Things has been in development for decades. The first Internet appliance, for example, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the Internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.

This quote helps to illustrate how cloud-based technologies are so widely available and prevalent even when we don’t even realize it. This is especially true when you consider that the above-mentioned example was from the 1980s, at least a decade before most people had Internet access.

ZDNet reports the following:

Analyst firm Gartner predicts global spending on security for the Internet of Things (IoT) will reach $348 million this year, a 23.7 percent increase from last year’s $281.5 million spend.

As the IoT gains momentum, Gartner expects the 2017 worldwide spend to fall just shy of $434 million, whilst the 2018 predicted spend is $547 million.

In a separate and earlier article from ZDNet, they further quoted Gartner as follows:

By 2016 Gartner predicts 6.4 billion devices will be connected to the internet — and 5.5 million new ‘things’ will join them each day.

And what are these “things” mentioned? Anything from your car to your household appliances like your kettle, toaster or washing machine.